October 18, 2014, Panther Creek, Habersham County

Posted under: North Georgia .

Field Trip Leader: Ben Cash

Description: Starting on a dry ridge with table mountain pine, mountain laurel, dwarf rhododendron and bigleaf storax, we’ll descend into the rugged and scenic corridor carved by Panther Creek.  We’ll follow the creek upstream to the pool below Panther Creek Falls and return by the same route. We’ll eat lunch by the water. Plant diversity increases nearer to the water with yellow buckeye, black birch and magnolias appearing. Virginia willow, silky cornel, hazel alder, yellowroot and ferns flourish. We may see log fern, Blue Ridge bittercress and brook saxifrage.

Location & Directions: Traveling north on US 23 / US 441 in Habersham County, go through the intersection with GA 17 Alternate at the traffic signal in Hollywood then take the next right onto John Wood Rd. which ends at an intersection after appro 1.5 mi. Continue straight ahead onto unpaved Camp Yonah Rd. and follow it about 3 mi to the east end. We have permission to park and walk across private property to reach Panther Creek within the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Meet:  10:00 am at East end of Camp Yonah Rd.

Bathroom Facilities: No. But two filling stations / convenience stores, two locally owned restaurants and a franchised sandwich shop are on GA 17 Alternate in Hollywood.

Walking Difficulty:  Total distance, in and back, is about 3 mi. The first portion of the walk is easy but the Forest Service hiking trail along Panther Creek is often rocky, overgrown and treacherous.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water. Remember to dress for the weather & wear comfortable hiking shoes. Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature & your activity level. You may wish to bring hiking poles, binoculars, hand lens, notebook, & camera.

Contact: Ben Cash (706) 778-5155, bencash@hemc.net, (706) 968-3841 cell, day of hike although service may not be available.